Nehemiah, Chapter 2

2:1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine, and gave it to the king. Now I had not been [formerly] sad in his presence.
2:2 And the king said to me, Why is your countenance sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very intensely afraid.
2:3 And I said to the king, Let the king live forever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies waste, and its gates are consumed with fire?
2:4 Then the king said to me, For what do you make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
2:5 And I said to the king, If it pleases the king, and if your slave has found favor in your sight, that you would send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may build it.
2:6 And the king said to me (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long will your journey be? And when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
2:7 Moreover I said to the king, If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah;
2:8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the castle which pertains to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I will enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God on me.
2:9 Then I came to the governors beyond the River, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent with me captains of the army and horsemen.
2:10 And when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the slave, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly, for man came to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel.
2:11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
2:12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither did I tell man what my God put into my heart to do for Jerusalem; neither was there any beast with me, but the beast that I rode on.
2:13 And I went out by night by the valley gate, even toward the Dragon's Well, and to the dung gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and its gates were consumed with fire.
2:14 Then I went on to the fountain gate and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.
2:15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall; and I turned back, and entered by the valley gate, and so returned.
2:16 And the rulers didn't know where I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest who did the work.
2:17 Then I said to them, You+ see the evil case that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we will no more be a reproach.
2:18 And I told them of the hand of my God which was good on me, as also of the king's words that he had spoken to me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for the good [work].
2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the slave, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that you+ do? Will you+ rebel against the king?
2:20 Then I answered them, and said to them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his slaves will arise and build: but you+ have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

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Text from UPDV Updated Bible Version 2.17 plus Pending Changes.
Copyright © 2003-2023 by Greg Abrams.